Two questions re: LOTH


Hello, fellow CAF-ers!

I have two questions regarding the Pauline Liturgy of the Hours (LOTH).

Firstly, I know that the Office of Readings (OOR) may be read the night before the actual day…e.g., one can pray the OOR for Christmas Day during the night of Christmas Eve. My question is, when doing this, should I pray the OOR before or after compline? I read somewhere else in these forums that it should be done before compline, but I’m wondering if there are rubrics or customs governing that.

Secondly, this evening I looked a few months down the road to the Easter Vigil. My red volume of the LOTH says that “the Easter Vigil takes the place of the OOR.” Does that mean there are no texts for the OOR? The rubric goes on to say that “those who do not participate in the Easter Vigil should read…readings with canticles, psalms, and prayers from the Easter Vigil.” I will not be able to attend the Easter Vigil this year, so does that mean I just read the Liturgy of the Word on Saturday evening/early Sunday morning?

Thanks y’all! :thumbsup: :blessyou:


Try this.

It will answer all your questions, and then some!

  1. The Constitution on the Liturgy directs that the office of readings, "though it should retain its character as a night office of praise when celebrated in choir, shall be adapted so that it may be recited at any hour of the day; it shall be made up of fewer psalms and longer readings.

  2. Without prejudice to the regulations just given, the office of readings may be recited at any hour of the day, even during the night hours of the previous day, after evening prayer has been said.

Not only is this permissible, but the Church specifically intends to accommodate the practice of OOR anytime of the day.

Don’t read too much into the “after evening prayer” part—what that means is that it applies if you do it “after evening prayer” of the following day.

For example, if you make it a practice of doing the Office of Readings every day and it just happens that you do it before Evening Prayer every day, then you use the OOR for the current calendar day. In this example, that would be if you pray the OOR at say 12 Noon every day (after or before mid-day prayer doesn’t matter).

On the other hand if you do the OOR every day but at a late hour (say 11 PM) and you do this consistently, then you would use the OOR for the next day.

The point being that either system means that you pray each day’s OOR one time. It’s just a matter of personal preference which system you want to adopt.

Second Q: yes.


There is no requirement to do the OOR before Compline, and as Fr. David pointed out if you say it after Vespers you use the anticipated Office for the next day, and before Vespers you use the Office of the same day.

You can also, according to the General Instructions, combine Compline and the OOR. It is done in many monasteries, they combine “Vigils” with Compline. The local Benedictine women say Compline at 7:15 pm and say Vigils (which is what the OOR is in monasteries) almost immediately after, at 7:45 pm.

For Vigils combined with Compline, usually in monasteries it’s divided into two nocturnes. The first nocturne is the psalms of Compline followed by the biblical reading, and the second nocturne is the psalms of the OOR followed by the patristic or hagiographic reading. In that format, the Office opens with the examination of conscience as for Compline, and closes with the Marian antiphon. I stayed at a small Benedictine priory in Paris using that formula.

The other way to do it would be to say the OOR psalms and both OOR readings, followed by the Compline psalms; you could use the collect of either Compline or the OOR, the hymn from either, and as above you’d open with the examen and close with the Marian antiphon.


Thank you both for the answers! Y’all answered all of my questions :smiley:


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit